“Success is a mindset.”
If there is any truth to the above quote, than Get Hard must have a completely different way of thinking than the intelligent and prosperous. The smartest piece of this film is that it shies away from constantly making jokes about the double entendre title. Instead, it tries to find its fun in racial profiling and a glaring, borderline obsessive infatuation with homophobia and sodomy. Why do movies like this get made? And more importantly, why do people pay to see them? I find it more upsetting that the masses are the ones responsible for such garbage, that because they find entertainment through cruelty and bigotry the studios are willing to keep pumping out poorly made, relatively cheap by Hollywood’s standards, and thoughtless pictures into theaters nationwide. Get Hard never made me laugh, but it did fill me with a disappointed disgust.
Harvard graduate and complete numskull James King (Will Ferrell) lives a fancy life. He’s a hedge fund manager at his soon to be father-in-law’s (Craig T. Nelson) firm. In the evening he returns home to his fiance Alissa (Alison Brie) in their echoing and vast mansion. Meanwhile, Darnell (Kevin Hart) runs a small car wash operation at James’ place of employment. Darnell and his wife just want to get their daughter into a nice home and a good school. After wrongfully being convicted of fraud and sentenced to ten years in prison, James recruits Darnell to teach him how to “get hard” so he can survive the inside of San Quentin prison. Movies like this have been done before, but not this mean, not this discriminatory.
Get Hard is a movie with no setup. For audiences, that equals no reward. This is a parasitic relationship where the film reaps the box-office benefit and drains the moviegoers of their time and money. Don’t get me wrong, I went into this expecting very little, and it was still below my expectations. Many people will challenge my taste on the next statement, but I have no idea what has happened to Will Ferrell. He’s always the same crying, screaming, heavily costumed actor. Sure, he’s a comedy icon and a bona fide dramatic actor (check out Winter Passing or Everything Must Go), but he simply has stopped challenging himself. It’s disheartening to see such veteran talent box itself in rather than push the boundaries of performance. Kevin Hart is surprisingly better than Ferrell here. Still, Hart has no restraint, and while he is unquestionably funny there is no subtlety to his art. He’s a stand-up comedian, not an actor.
I’ve always had a difficult time enjoying movies that are based on a lie. James only assumes that Darnell can teach him a thing or two because as he says statistically most people like him, meaning black males, have spent time behind bars. This isn’t a buddy comedy. It’s a bland and flat attempt at convincing the audience to like two annoying and deceptive characters. You must reside in La La Land if you believe these men would grow to become friends. Ultimately, Get Hard is a terribly scripted and preposterous movie that gives too much creative control to its leads, taking away from any promise the story briefly and faintly showed. 100 minutes of locker room vulgarity and snide humor is almost too much to handle. Get Hard aims many of its jokes at male to male fellatio and rear-end penetration. Which makes sense, because this is the excrement, the fowl bi-product of putrid cinema that should be flushed down the toilet.
“I want you to learn how to suck d***.”
Rating: 0.5 out of 5